Modern and Contemporary Style 101

Modern and contemporary lighting 101 - Lights Online

What exactly defines modern lighting often varies from person to person, but there are a few general tenets that many people can agree on: clean lines, simplicity, functionality, innovation and often the use of chrome or other metals. Of course, modern design is sometimes all about breaking the rules. Some modern lighting looks more like a sculpture and has many different intricate elements. Some modern lighting breaks the fixture down to little more than the very basic pieces: base, stem, bulb. Some modern lighting is monochromatic while other fixtures are explosions of color.

Modern design actually harkens all the way back to the 1930s, to the times of Frank Lloyd Wright and his guiding philosophy of form follows function. However, modern is an enduring style of décor and is still very popular all these years later because of those above tenets, especially the idea of innovation. If you’re thinking of adding modern lighting fixtures to your home, they will fit in well if much of your décor is already clean and contemporary. You can also find modern lights to suit any illumination need you have, big or small!

Look for these features when you're planning lighting for your modern or contemporary home and you're on your way to achieving an up-to-the-minute look!

Clean, simple lines. A lot of modern indoor lighting tends to be minimalist in appearance. Think uncluttered, streamlined and versatile: the bulbs, the base and not much else.

Abstract or asymmetrical silhouettes. Some of today's bolder lighting designs are, in essence, contemporary sculptures with a practical use. These pieces contain intriguing, bold elements often seen in modern art. 

Unique splashes of color. Specialty art glass is very popular in contemporary indoor lighting, particularly in mini pendant and bath light designs. Many of these glass pieces are hand-crafted so each piece looks slightly different.

Chrome, nickel or silver finishes. These sleek finishes work particularly well with stainless appliances or fixtures. Lighting with brushed silver or nickel finishes will offer a seamless look! In modern bathrooms, match the finish of your lights to the finish of your hardware (faucet, drawer handles and so on).

Want to learn more about what kinds of modern and contemporary lights are available from Lights Online?  

Modern and contemporary close-to-ceiling lights - Lights OnlineYou can certainly get modern ceiling lights that are basically naught but bulbs inside a simple glass dome. Those could be perfect for your room. But modern ceiling lights also include ones that are studded with ‘bling,’ remixes of the chandelier, gold puffs of aluminum, collections of orbs shaped like molecules and more! For flush or semi-flush applications, modern ceiling lights provide a great source of ambient light.

Modern chandeliers - Lights Online

Many modern chandeliers are typified by clean lines and the use of metals, but they tend to look at least somewhat similar to their more traditional brethren. However, some of them break the rules and create innovative new silhouettes. In addition to chandeliers that are great for use over tables and in other areas, we stock modern chandeliers that are dramatic, tall, descending designs perfect for a tall foyer or anywhere else in need of stunning lighting.

Modern pendants - Lights OnlineModern pendants are available in all sizes and shapes. Many of them make the light bulbs a central part of the fixture. Elk Lighting and Access Lighting are two collections that offer a huge variety of colorful modern pendants that are made to perfectly suit a contemporary space, like a kitchen island. Then there’s the subset of modern pendants that are thoroughly inventive and stunning, much like their chandelier cousins.

Modern sconces - Lights OnlineModern wall sconces are a great way to boost up the lighting in a room and keep the décor theme going. Simplicity reigns when it comes to many modern sconces: a metallic finish, a bulb in glass and that is it. But if you want some more ornate and decorative modern sconces, check out the offerings from ET2 or Elan.

Modern lamps - Lights OnlineModern lamps make the perfect addition to a room in need of more accent or task lighting. You can choose from a huge variety of modern style lamps--artful, colorful, sleek, streamlined, you name it! We also recommend our selection of modern wall lamps, many of which are adjustable so you can bring the light to where you need it any time!

Modern ceiling fans - Lights OnlineIf you want to keep it cool and save money on energy, but you need something contemporary, we have modern ceiling fans. They help you stay cool, let you use your air conditioner less and provide a big boost of style. We offer modern ceiling fans with light kits and without light kits, as well as select models that allow you to go both ways. Outdoor modern ceiling fans are available too! 

Modern outdoor lights - Lights OnlineA modern or contemporary home's exterior would be illuminated perfectly with modern outdoor lights. Outdoor wall lights brighten up doorways, garages, decks and more. Outdoor ceiling lights and outdoor hanging lights are great for covered patios and other areas. Outdoor post lights are an excellent choice for driveways and placement near mailboxes. Landscape lighting has a huge variety of uses. 

If modern design style speaks to you, some brands to look for in lighting include Access Lighting, Alico, EGLO, Elan, ET2, Fredrick Ramond, George Kovacs, Sonneman, Varaluz and WAC, although many other brands also offer some modern styles as well. If you need more help finding your new favorite modern piece, contact us or call 1-866-688-3562 to speak to our trained lighting specialists! You can also sign up for our newsletters.

Emma Harger - Lights Online